Tribal Life

Linda Edwards, Writer

Are angry lymph nodes serious?

Twenty six years ago, I had a sonogram when I was pregnant with my son Donald. I remember having to pee due to the full bladder it required. Mostly, I remember being excited to see the baby growing inside me. That’s not what I felt this morning as I followed the technician into the procedure room. What will it show? 

The technician was talkative, obviously trying to keep me relaxed. I craned my neck to try to see what was appearing on the sonogram screen, located a few inches behind my head.

As she ran the handheld wand over my neck, she pointed to a section of the screen that seemed to be a pulsating mix of black and white. “See these areas here?” she asked me. “This is a cluster of four inflamed lymph nodes.” She then showed me lymph nodes on the other side of my neck, which she described as normal. I nodded, but really didn’t see a huge difference.  The constant movement confused me. “Now we need to figure out why they’re angry,” the technician told me. 

A radiologist came in and reviewed the data. He took the sonogram wand and ran it over my neck again, watching the images on the screen jump and move. “It could be benign, or it could be cancerous,” he said. The radiologist said my physician will review the results with me. “I think they will probably recommend a biopsy.”

Now I wait.  The biopsy is scheduled for Dec. 6th. I’m trying to take the delay in scheduling to be a good sign. “Clearly they don’t think this is too serious.”

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